FBI Tried to Unmask Employee as Trump Supporter

News & Politics

According to internal documents, FBI officials, as part of a confidential security clearance assessment for a longtime employee, probed into the individual’s political inclinations, stance on COVID-19 vaccination, and participation in Second Amendment gatherings. The internal memo triggered a complaint to the Justice Department’s internal oversight body. 

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Months after these inquiries, the FBI revoked the employee’s security clearance. Internal records obtained by Just the News indicate that the interviews corroborated the employee’s alignment with former President Donald Trump, advocacy for gun rights, and apprehensions regarding the COVID vaccine.

The memos show that agents for the FBI’s Security Division asked at least three witnesses in spring 2022 whether the employee, whose name and job title was redacted from the memos, had been known to “vocalize support for President Trump” or “vocalize objections to Covid-19 vaccination.” Agents ascertained from at least one witness that the worker, in fact, had declined to get the coronavirus inoculation.

The latter questions about the vaccine were asked in spring 2022, a few months after the U.S. Supreme Court had struck down vaccine mandates in corporate workplaces and a separate federal court had issued an injunction on federal employee vaccine mandates. 

The agents also asked witnesses whether the FBI worker had “attended the Richmond Lobby Day event” in January 2021, a rally for supporters of the Second Amendment in Virginia. The agents’ notes referred to the colleague they were vetting as a “gun nut” but who in engaged in “no promotion of violence.”

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FBI officials refused to comment on why an employee’s endorsement of Trump and the Second Amendment or their reluctance to receive the COVID-19 vaccine was relevant to their security clearance. They also wouldn’t comment on whether there were any analogous queries about an employee’s support for Joe Biden or traditionally left-wing positions.

In a letter to the DOJ inspector general, the FBI employee’s lawyer, Tristan Leavitt, revealed his client made made protected whistleblower disclosures to both Congress and the DOJ about the politicization of the security clearance process, which he alleged he was put through simply because he self-reported having taken a vacation day to go to Washington D.C. for the Jan. 6, 2021 rally.

Leavitt, who runs the nonprofit Empower Oversight center specializing in whistleblower cases, said his client did not engage in any criminal acts nor did he enter the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, and he called the security review process that ensued evidence of political bias against conservatives inside the bureau.

“Instead of limiting its investigation to legitimate issues, SecD (Security Division) acted as if support for President Trump, objecting to COVID-19 vaccinations, or lawfully attending a protest was the equivalent of being a member of Al Qaeda or the Chinese Communist Party,” Leavitt wrote in a letter to Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz on Monday. 

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“The FBl’s intentions are made clear by the questions it chose to put in black and white on a government document,” added Leavitt, whose group has represented the IRS whistleblowers in the Hunter Biden case as well as several FBI agents and analysts who claim that their security clearances were suspended or revoked because of their political views.

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